St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

07 Sep

York Open Eco Homes

Sat 7 Sep 2019 at All Day


Naburn eco house
Naburn eco house

Please book to see the homes by 9am on Saturday 7th September in order to receive the list of addresses and directions. Opening times differ for each home – please see details below.

Are you concerned about climate change but not sure how to start addressing it in your life? A significant portion of your carbon footprint will come from heating and powering your home. Use the opportunity to visit three local homes – see descriptions below – that don’t cost the Earth to run – in either energy bills or carbon emissions. Pick up tips on how to make your home more eco-friendly and meet friendly people happy to share their experiences.

Would you like to see all three in the company of St Nicks Outreach Officer to guide you along? Come on a cycle ride starting from St Nicks Environment Centre! We’ll cover around 10 miles in between destinations, on quiet roads or cycle paths where possible. For further inspiration, Ivana will also briefly show you round St Nicks Environment Centre and take you past the City of York Council’s EcoDepot. At the end there will be an opportunity to discuss how together we can help make York housing more sustainable. Please book ahead.

Free entry, donations to St Nicks welcome.


The following are kindly opening their doors to visitors as part of our annual York Open Eco Homes project. Please respect the privacy of the home owners and only visit in the given time slot.

Naburn eco house

Naburn eco house

Open 10am-1pm & 2-5pm: Riverside Eco home (Naburn) – new for 2019!

Completed in 2018 on the banks of the river Ouse with 40 metres of river frontage this 3 bedroom home designed by Phil Bixby and project managed by the owners. The house sits a metre above the highest flood level with flood protection measures built in. The floor, walls and roof are super insulated and the triple glazed windows and doors create a sealed structure. A silent mechanical heat recovery system recycles heat using fresh air vents. An array of solar panels heats water and supplies electricity. Three low energy electric towel rails in the bathrooms maintain a minimum house temperature of 20-21 degrees C throughout most of the year with a small amount of additional electric heating for extra cold days. A super efficient home built to Passivhaus standards, certification was missed only because the large windows face northwest to the river rather than south for solar gain. However, the views are sufficient compensation. Book to see this home via Eventbrite.


Passivhaus in Fulford

Passivhaus in Fulford

Open 10am-12pm: Passivhaus from a kit (Fulford) – with Lifetime Homes features
This 2-bed house, built in 2017, is extremely well insulated with the entire south facing roof slope covered in solar panels but most importantly it’s a Passivhaus with a sealed building envelope with fresh air pre-warmed through a heat exchanger. The house is also designed, by local architect Phil Bixby, to be adaptable to the occupiers’ changing needs as they grow older – for instance a storage room on the ground floor will be easy to turn into an easy access bathroom later on because it has plumbing hidden within. The owners survived the 2018 Beast from the East without central heating but just the occasional  extra jumper. Book to see this home via Eventbrite.


Eco-retrofitted Victorian house

Eco-retrofitted Victorian house

Open 2-5pm: Eco-retrofitted house (Knavesmire area) – bringing the past up to tomorrow’s standard
Local architect Phil Bixby has eco-refurbished his Victorian end-terrace house, retrofitting the existing structure to a high standard of insulation (including fitting triple-glazed sash-lookalike windows) and creating two new single-storey extensions each to Passivhaus-standard levels of performance and with green roofs. Attention to airtightness means whole-house mechanical ventilation with heat recovery can work efficiently, and the resulting energy requirements are sufficiently low to allow simple electric heating. A substantial photovoltaic array (including novel use of the south-facing gable wall) and battery storage mean the overall energy requirements can be efficiently provided for by a mix of solar and off-peak electricity. The house has now been occupied for nearly a year and hence there is useful feedback on how all the systems operate. Book to see this home via Eventbrite.

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Online bookings are not available for this event.